150th Anniversary of Brother André’s Profession, CSC.
February 2, 1874 – February 2, 2024
One hundred and fifty years ago, on February 2, 1874, Brother André confirmed his commitment to live as a religious of the Holy Cross. Three years earlier, at the end of his novitiate, the superiors had hesitated to accept him into the community. There were concerns that, with his fragile health, he might be unable to actively participate in the mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
By 1874, all doubts were dispelled. Brother André demonstrated his ability to fulfill the various tasks entrusted to him. As the doorkeeper of Collège Notre-Dame, he knew how to welcome parents and visitors. It had also been discovered that he had a profound intensity in prayer.
Thus, on this February 2, Brother André chose to live poverty, chastity, and obedience within the Congregation of Holy Cross. By pronouncing his vows definitively, Brother André agreed to place his entire life in the service of his brothers and sisters, thus bearing witness to his desire to follow the Lord within this religious family.
Prayer would be central to his constant quest for the Lord. It had already been observed that even before becoming a religious, prayer and contemplation occupied a significant place in his life. Community life provided him with a framework for prayer and the joy of joining his voice with those of his brothers in daily prayer.
Brother André had also found in Holy Cross an environment that allowed him to dedicate his life to others. Father Basile Moreau, the founder of Holy Cross, had always emphasized zeal for souls – the constant effort to serve others and help them journey towards the Lord. Brother André understood this calling well. While diligently performing the work entrusted to him, he knew how to speak about God with great simplicity that touched the people he encountered.
The commitment he made on February 2, 1874, Brother André pursued for sixty-three years. At his death in 1937, everyone agreed to celebrate the fidelity of this man who, until his last breath, knew how to talk to God about the people he met and speak to everyone about the God to whom he had dedicated his life.